Eskom increases load-shedding as three units trip at one station — here is the timetable

Eskom has announced it will increase load-shedding from stage 2 to stage 4 at 10:00 on Tuesday morning after several units at one of its coal-fired power stations tripped.

“A sudden tripping of three Kendal Power Station units with a maximum generating capacity of 1,920MW has forced the implementation of Stage 4 load-shedding,” the utility said.

Eskom explained the trips were caused by a conveyor belt feeding coal into the power station failing in the early hours of the morning.

“To conserve coal, the power output of the generators was reduced, but this required fuel oil to be used to sustain the boiler combustion,” Eskom said.

“Subsequently, the fuel oil plant supplying the units experienced a failure and shut down. This resulted in the trip of the three generating units.”

Eskom said the Kendal units were only anticipated to return to service by the weekend.

Before they tripped, Eskom also had to take down generating units at Arnot and Medupi power stations for emergency repairs.

Although some of the broken-down units are expected to return to service in the next 24 hours, Eskom said it had to conserve emergency pumped-storage and open-cycle gas turbine reserves.

As a result, stage 4 will continue to be implemented until 05:00 on the morning of Thursday, 15 September 2022.

Therefore, the following load-shedding schedule will apply in the coming days:

  • Tuesday, 13 September 2022, 10:00-24:00  — Stage 4
  • Wednesday, 14 September 2022, 00:00-24:00  — Stage 4
  • Thursday, 15 September 2022, 00:00-05:00  — Stage 4
  • Thursday, 15 September 2022, 05:00-24:00 — Stage 2
  • Friday, 16 September 2022, 00:00-24:00 — Stage 2

Eskom apologised for the sudden change in the load shedding profile.

At the time of its statement with details on what led to the units tripping, Eskom said it had 16,985MW of generating capacity unavailable due to breakdowns and 5,446MW offline for planned maintenance.

The latest outages come after a briefing by Eskom on Monday, during which the utility’s chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer revealed it suffered 42 unit trips last week.

The table below summarises Eskom’s load-shedding schedule for the week.

Load-shedding schedule for 13 September – 16 September
Date Day Start time End time Stage
13 September 2022 Tuesday 00:00 05:00 3
05:00 10:00 2
10:00 24:00 4
14 September Wednesday 00:00 24:00 4
15 September Thursday 00:00 05:00 4
05:00 24:00 2
16 September Friday 00:00 24:00 2

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Eskom increases load-shedding as three units trip at one station — here is the timetable